The chaos of Trump and Brexit shows that democracy is not simply majority rule

Anger at neoliberalism’s broken promises has morphed on both sides of the Atlantic into vilification of immigrants and, in the hands of Donald Trump, into an almost daily display of hatred towards the poor. In both the US and UK, political leaders have emerged to scapegoat minorities as the cause of society’s ills and legitimise their truncated vision of democracy as majority rule as the solution.

This article on Euronews Vision warns that when, as Oscar Wilde warned, democracy comes to mean the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people, the worst is yet to come.

 

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The Solution to Democracy’s Crisis is More Democracy

A version of this article appears in the May edition of Village magazine.

Whatever else it is, Trump’s chaotic post-truth presidency is a gift for psychologists. Under their code of ethics, psychologists are not allowed to make pronouncements about the mental health of public figures. Despite this rule, thousands of psychotherapists in the U.S. have come together in Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism to warn about Trump’s dubious mental health. Psychology professors from top U.S. universities have also broken ranks to voice their clinical opinion that Trump suffers from a dangerous mental disorder.    Continue reading

Brexit is not Democracy in Action, It is Democracy in Crisis

The UK vote to leave the European Union is being hailed by the Leave side as a victory for democracy. During the campaign, Conservative Boris Johnson claimed that those supporting Brexit were doing so out of a desire to restore UK democracy. He made headlines by comparing the European Union with Hitler, claiming that both were pursuing a similar goal in trying to create a powerful superstate. As the polls closed he tweeted that democracy had been served. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has made his career by vilifying the European Union as an enemy of democracy and promising that Brexit would free the UK from its ‘anti-democratic’ grip.Far from being a victory for democracy, however, the Referendum campaign and the UK’s vote to leave have undermined democracy.    Continue reading

It Isn’t Just Politics That’s Broken

Over the past three decades, as power was being sucked upwards, it wasn’t just politics that was being damaged. The foundations of our democracy were also being undermined. This guest post on ShiftingGrounds looks at how the pillars of liberal democracy have been subverted by the very politicians whose job it is to defend democracy. Continue reading here…

photo credit: Maia C via photopin cc

photo credit: Maia C via photopin cc